Sub-Saharan Africa countries rank the lowest globally in innovation performance according to the Global Innovation Index report 2018. The annual report that ranks success in innovation across 130 economies in the world ranked Africa with a with an average GII score of 25. North America is the most innovative continent with an average score of 56.
The Global Innovation Index provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance across 80 indicators exploring a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication.
This year’s edition, which is dedicated to the theme of Energizing the World with Innovation analyses the energy innovation landscape of the next decade and identifies possible breakthroughs in fields such as energy production, storage, distribution, and consumption.
Switzerland has the highest score globally at 68.40 followed by Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom with scores of 63.3, 63.0 and 60.1 respectively.
South Africa which has been ranked 58th globally takes the top spot out of 24 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Mauritius which is ranked 75th globally while Kenya takes the 3rd position in Africa and 78th globally.
The GII 2018 also identifies 20 countries termed as “Innovation Achievers.” Countries that outperform innovation relative to their level of development. Of these 20 economies, 6 in total, the most from any region, come from Sub-Saharan Africa. Importantly, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Malawi, and Madagascar stand out for being innovation achievers at least three times in the previous eight years.
Despite the low ranking, several African countries continue to experience strong economic growth pushed the momentous innovation push.